Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Commodore man charged in killing

by on June 18, 2017 12:59 AM

A verbal and physical argument between two Commodore men turned deadly early Saturday morning.

State police at Indiana said James Lantz, 27, fatally shot Derrick Davis, 23, after the two men argued outside two Green Township residences.

Police said the shooting happened about 12:54 a.m. at a residence at 54 Lovejoy Road. Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman Jr. listed the location of the shooting as 66 Lovejoy Road, which according to the coroner’s report was the Davis residence.

Police said troopers were dispatched for a report of shots fired and a person injured by gunfire. The shooting followed a verbal and physical confrontation between Lantz and Davis. Lantz retrieved a firearm and shot Davis in the upper chest, police said. When troopers arrived on the scene, a male and a female were giving Davis aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency medical services personnel arrived.

Police said Lantz fled the area on foot after the shooting.

Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty said Lantz returned to the scene of the homicide at mid-morning and was arrested without incident at 10:40 a.m. He was to be arraigned on a general count of criminal homicide while being held at the Indiana County Jail without bail.

Dougherty said a domestic dispute between Davis and a female friend may have occurred before the shooting.

There is no indication that drugs were involved, but alcohol may have been a factor, Dougherty said.

Investigators believe the murder weapon was a shotgun, which was recovered, also according to the district attorney.

Overman ruled the gunshot wound was the cause of death and homicide was the manner of death. An autopsy and toxicology tests were to be performed Saturday at the Allegheny County Medical Examiners Office in Pittsburgh.

Citizens’ Ambulance Service paramedics and volunteer firefighters from Commodore assisted investigators at the scene.

Funeral arrangements for Davis are being handled by the Long-Contres Funeral Home of Northern Cambria.

Randy Wells has been a reporter and staff writer at The Indiana Gazette since 1988. His regular assignments include coverage of the Indiana County commissioners, Indiana Borough council and the Marion Center Area School District. His email address is
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